January 4th, 2011

Blueberries for Sal

Beef Stew

Here is the stew at the early simmering stage, before vegetables are added.


* 2 pounds stew beef (dredged in flour)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 cups water
* 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
* 1 clove garlic, peeled
* 1 or 2 bay leaves
* 1 medium onion, sliced
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* Dash ground allspice or ground cloves
* one can of chopped tomatoes
* 3 large carrots, sliced
* 3 ribs celery, chopped
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch


• Dredge meat in flour and brown meat in hot oil.
• Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice.
• Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
• Remove bay leaves and garlic clove. Add carrots and celery. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer. • To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.
Blueberries for Sal

Chocolate marshmallow bundt cake

The other day I was wanting to make a marshmallow filled chocolate bundt cake-- kind of like a Suzy Q snack cake. So I figured I'd make the cake batter, fill half the pan with it. Layer marshmallow Fluff and cover with remaining cake batter.

Well, the above is how it turned out. It's a matter of physics. The marshmallow had more air in it than the cake batter so it rose to the top of the pan (inverted, this meant the marshmallow was on the bottom) It got brown and crusty and wasn't really creamy marshmallow anymore.

So long shot-- it didn't work. But the cake was good.

This was the recipe I used:


1 3/4 c. flour
1 3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. butter (softened)
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large mixing bowl. Add butter, sour cream, milk, eggs and vanilla; blend on low speed, then beat for 3 minutes on medium speed.

Pour batter into a well-greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool on wire rack. Glaze with Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Yield: 12 servings.